¡Viva la solidaridad! Latin America’s left leads the way


“It’s vital that the left in Britain expresses solidarity and creates connections with this renewed “pink tide,” joining with the movement that is providing global leadership on all the issues of which our own domestic crises are symptoms.”

Sam Browse, Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America, explains why it’s vital that the left in Britain expresses solidarity with a renewed ‘pink tide.’

Around the world we are going through major crises: the ongoing pandemic; the continuing climate chaos; and, in many parts of the world, the cost-of-living crisis.

In Britain, we’ve seen Covid deaths reach over 200,000; dangerous and unprecedented temperatures which have led to fires across the country; and skyrocketing energy bills and soaring prices, after more than a decade of stagnating wages and declining conditions in the workplace.

It’s clear that the problems we face in Britain are symptomatic of these global challenges and that means we’ll need global action to address them – changing the way that we do global politics, and restructuring institutions so that international public need comes before the greed of multinational corporations.

It’s important that the British left doesn’t pose its solutions to these crises in purely national, isolated terms, but works in solidarity with other movements across the globe that fight to put people, health and planet first.

That’s why it’s so important that we build links with the left in Latin America who have recently made vital gains across the continent, with election victories in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Honduras and Colombia.

Notably, the election of leftist Gustavo Petro in Colombia startlingly overturns the dominance of the right in the country – which was often used as bridgehead for US intervention into the continent, and which saw the vicious persecution of trade unionist and progressive activists.

Of course, the victory in Chile of Gabriel Boric also overturns a decades-long neoliberal consensus which was infamously imposed at gun-point.

The coup against Salvador Allende came with the brutal incarceration and torture – backed by the US State Department – of anyone who resisted Augusto Pinochet, and the Chile it created became the experimental crucible of the deregulation and dismantling of workers’ pay and conditions that was implemented across the globe.

Then, the country led the way – but in the negative. Now, it joins and leads the resistance to the neoliberal consensus.

Similarly, the electoral success of the left in Honduras reverses the US-sponsored coup d’etat in 2009 which saw – after bloody violence and the installation of a right-wing government – a precipitous drop in living standards and rising unemployment.

This turning of the tide could be no more pronounced than in Bolivia which saw the great left president Evo Morales – the first indigenous leader of the country – deposed in a coup in 2019, only for Luis Arce’s Movement for Socialism to win back power in 2020.

Importantly, these new left governments are joining with established governments of the left in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to pose an alternative pole of attraction to the US-dominated institutions – the institutions that have acted as midwife to the multiple crises we are currently living through.

And the prospects of this left advance continue. Despite the “lawfare” used against him during his presidency and afterwards, Lula da Silva is now polling head and shoulders above the far-right Trump – and Biden – ally, Jair Bolsonaro, and looks set to win this year’s general election.

However, the generals in Bolsonaro’s government have expressed their willingness to disregard the results of a democratic election – and while the recent reversal of the continental political situation is a source of hope, it also shows how quickly the tide can change.

It’s therefore vital that the left in Britain expresses solidarity and creates connections with this renewed “pink tide,” joining with the movement that is providing global leadership on all the issues of which our own domestic crises are symptoms.

The meeting next Monday, July 25, “‘¡Viva la solidaridad! Latin America’s Left Leads the Way” is an important opportunity to do just that.

The event is part of Arise Festival’s month-long programme of activity, and will feature contributions from international speakers such as Rodolfo Pastor, secretary of the Honduran presidency; Victor De Currea Lugo, a Colombian journalist; Rafaela Molina, of Wiphalas across the World, Bolivia; Mickey Brady, Sinn Fein MP and member of previous delegations to Colombia and Venezuela; Teri Mattson, Latin America co-ordinator for
Codepink – Women for Peace, US; Nathalia Urban, of Brasil wire; and more to be confirmed.

In Latin America, the left is fighting, and winning, for an agenda that puts peace, climate justice, public health and the defence and extension of living standards first. Tune in this Monday to hear more — and to join the international resistance to neoliberalism that is carving a new consensus on the Latin American continent and beyond.

  • ¡Viva la solidaridad! Latin America’s Left Leads the Way takes place on Monday, June 25th at 7pm – register here.
  • You can see the full programme of Arise Festival events and activities at here. And follow Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America on Facebook and Twitter.
  • This article was originally published by The Morning Star on July 21st, 2022.
Featured image: Colombia’s mass protests against neoliberalism and tax reform May 1st, 2021. Photo credit: Paro Nacional Colombia/Wiki Commons

Leave a Reply